U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

GPS Applications in Law Enforcement: The SkyTracker Surveillance System, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
139 pages
The SkyTracker Surveillance System (STSS) was developed and evaluated for use by the Colorado Springs Park Police in covert operations to track police patrol units.
The STSS project tested various commercial antennas and found the car radio antenna offered the best solution in terms of performance and natural concealment. Two transceivers were purchased and used during test and evaluation, and preliminary studies were conducted to determine the commercial availability of global positioning system antennas and receivers. Covert operations using the antennas and receivers were evaluated during moving and non-moving stages using a 1997 Saturn. An STSS was delivered to the Colorado Springs Park Police that consisted of a base station and three remote units. An evaluation of this system indicated covert tracking operations were definitely feasible. Certain restrictions, however, needed to be overcome that concerned limited satellite coverage, access to the surveillance vehicle, antenna selection, bulky and heavy transceivers, and the need for two antennas instead of one integrated antenna. Recommendations for further work are offered to improve the STSS and its use in covert tracking operations. Detailed performance data on the STSS are provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1998